HASTINGS, Neb. — For high school students interested in art, there’s no better place to be this week than Hastings College.

That means Brooke Johnsen is in the right place.

“I am doing a bunch of art stuff. I’ve been doing art stuff all week and that’s all I’m going to be doing and I absolutely love it,” Johnsen said.

The 16-year-old from Fort Calhoun is participating in Open Space, the college’s summer immersion experience for fine and performing arts. Johnsen is in the visual arts track and is staying busy.

“The first day I started out with glass blowing, the second day I went to ceramics, third day I did painting, fourth day it’s sculpting with foam and then the fifth day tomorrow is going to be media,” Johnsen said.

68 students were selected out of 200 applicants. Johnsen says it’s a fun atmosphere with everyone on campus.

“It’s crazy, but it’s amazing. The people who I’m here with, they’re musicians, they’re actors, actresses, artists," Johnsen said. "We’re all kind of crazy in some ways and I think that’s what makes it really fun.”

Brett Epperson is the director of choral activities at Hastings College. He’s helping students in the performing arts track to build their skills and prepare for a pair of performances.

“We hope that students walk away from this experience feeling more knowledgeable and prepare for whatever their doing, whether it’s music or art, but also ultimately within this short time frame that we’re putting together a final product that they can feel proud of for the amount of time that we’ve had,” Epperson said.

Epperson says a donor underwrites much of Open Space, making it more affordable than similar camps. He hopes students come away considering Hastings College and considering a future in the arts.

“If they’ve been thinking about pursuing a career in a particular subject area, that they get a taste for what that might be like to be a college student majoring in art or majoring in music,” Epperson said.

A public gallery show June 17 from 11:00 to 11:45 a.m. in the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center gives visual arts students an opportunity to share their work. A public performance at 12:15 p.m. in Scott Studio Theatre and Perkins Auditorium gives performing arts students an opportunity to shine.